This article engages with the resistance against the global erosion of seed diversity following the modernization and industrialization of agriculture over the 20th century. This resistance spans from local farming communities that preserve and safeguard traditional landraces to international movements which oppose proprietary seed regulations and promote free sharing of seeds. The article focuses on the latter and presents a study of the open source seed movement: an initiative to apply strategies from the open source software movement to ensure the free circulation of seeds. The erosion of seed diversity can be seen not only as a loss of genetic diversity but also a memory loss where traditional, collective knowledge about how to grow certain landraces is forgotten. Consequently, the open source seed movement is not only about saving seeds but also about preserving and revitalizing local and traditional ecological knowledge against privatization and enclosure through intellectual property rights. The aim of this article is, thus, to analyze the open source seed movement as an act of revitalization in relation to intellectual property rights and in the context of information politics.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.